Wednesday, February 27, 2008



‘Sexual sadist’ gets life-plus-100

A man classified by a psychologist as a sexual sadist was sentenced yesterday to life plus 100 years in prison for raping two women and an 11-year-old girl who wrote in a letter to the judge, “I’m a different person now.”

James E. Hackey Jr., 39, of Hagerstown, could be eligible for parole in about 65 years.

In her handwritten note, read by her mother from a sheet of loose-leaf notebook paper, the girl said she takes pills to help her sleep because she is afraid someone will break in.

“I think he should be imprisoned for the rest of his life to see what it feels like to go through a lot of pain,” and so that “no girl has to go through what I did,” the victim wrote.

Hackey pleaded guilty to the three rapes in December.

Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion read aloud from a section of a state psychologist’s report in which Hackey said he enjoyed “looking at the women, seeing how scared they are.”

The girl was abducted from her bedroom in May by a masked man who gave her 8-year-old sister $4 to keep quiet, according to court records. Miss Cirincion said Hackey videotaped the assault.

In October, a Washington County grand jury indicted Hackey on charges of raping an 18-year-old woman in June and a 40-year-old woman in October 2006 after breaking into their homes.

Hackey was paroled in September 2004 after serving 17 years of a 41-year sentence for burglary convictions and a probation violation in Frederick County.


Student arrested after IED detonated

Anne Arundel County police arrested a high school student after an improvised explosive device was set off at Old Mill High School.

The 16-year-old student detonated the device about 9 a.m. Monday in the bed of his truck, police said. A police spokesman said he could not go into details about the type of device.

The youth is charged as a juvenile with felonies including manufacturing a destructive device and possessing explosive material with intent to create a destructive device.

No one was injured, and police said the explosion did not result in a fire.


Man gets 13 years in baseball-bat killing

A Howard County man was ordered to serve 13 years in prison for his guilty plea in the baseball-bat slaying of an 18-year-old from Ellicott City.

Kevin Klink, 19, of Columbia, was sentenced to 10 years for voluntary manslaughter and three years for a weapon charge.

Klink pleaded guilty last month to killing Robert Brazell, 18, during a late-night brawl one year ago this week that involved nearly two dozen teenagers at the football stadium at Mount Hebron High School.

Prosecutors said Klink hit Mr. Brazell in the head with an aluminum bat to protect a friend who he thought was in danger. However, prosecutors said Klink used unreasonable force.


Best-selling novelist to rebuild burned inn

Best-selling romance novelist Nora Roberts and husband Bruce Wilder say they still plan to open an inn on the site of a historic hotel that was destroyed by fire last week in downtown Boonsboro.

Mr. Wilder told the Hagerstown Herald-Mail that they will rebuild after the fire Friday left only the stone walls of the six-room Boone Hotel still standing.

Mrs. Roberts and Mr. Wilder also have offered aid to residents of four apartments in other buildings damaged by the blaze.

Investigators determined that the fire started when workers renovating the hotel accidentally knocked over a liquid propane tank.


New fire chief comes from Minneapolis

Minneapolis’ fire chief, who oversaw the rescue operation in the immediate aftermath of the Interstate 35-W bridge collapse last summer, was named to the same post in Baltimore, city officials said yesterday.

Chief Jim Clack will be introduced by Mayor Sheila Dixon at a press conference today.

“He comes to Baltimore with outstanding reputation for the business of firefighting and the business of running a large fire department,” said Sterling Clifford, a spokesman for Mrs. Dixon. “He has the right combination of experience and innovative thinking the mayor was looking for.”

Chief Clack will succeed Chief William Goodwin, who announced his resignation in November, citing the stress of the past year and his wife’s health. He stepped down Dec. 31.

Chief Clack took over the Minneapolis Fire Department last February and was interim chief for 10 months before that. He took over after for Bonnie Bleskachek, who was reassigned after an investigation showed her tenure was marked by intimate relationships with female firefighters.



VDOT begins work on widening I-95

The Virginia Department of Transportation will begin work this week to widen a six-mile stretch of Interstate 95 in Fairfax and Prince William counties.

VDOT said a fourth lane in both directions between the Fairfax County Parkway and Route 123 will improve traffic at the Springfield Interchange.

Signs and barriers will be placed on the right shoulders in both directions along that stretch of the interstate today, tomorrow and Friday. Construction on the $123 million project is scheduled to begin next month and finish in 2011.

Transportation officials say they plan to minimize traffic congestion by keeping all existing lanes open during rush hours and holiday weekends.


Roaming horses stop traffic at tunnel

Three horses wandering along Interstate 64 stopped eastbound traffic at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel for about 30 minutes yesterday morning.

A Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman said state troopers rounded up the horses, which were taken to a garage at the tunnel until animal-control officers arrived.

Authorities received the call about the loose horses about 5:45 a.m., after drivers and VDOT employees in the tunnel control room spotted them.

The horses were thought to belong to Hampton University.


Dentist sentenced for having child porn

A former Petersburg dentist was sentenced to 90 months in prison for receiving child pornography.

Dr. William Marshall Ballance, 61, pleaded guilty last year to downloading the pornography from a Web site. He was caught in a federal child-porn investigation.

A federal prosecutor told U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson at Monday’s hearing that there was no evidence Ballance ever molested or had inappropriate contact with children.

Ballance told authorities he was never alone with children during his practice. He told the judge that he was addicted to pornography.


Money given out to save farmland

Gov. Tim Kaine is granting $4.25 million to 14 Virginia localities to preserve farmland.

The state funds will be distributed to local Purchase of Development programs, which will pay farmers in exchange for giving up the right to develop their property.

Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, said Virginia has lost valuable farmland to development at an alarming rate. The funds will benefit Virginia farmers, local economies and the environment, he said.

The counties of Albemarle, Clark, Fauquier, Goochland, Isle of Wight and James City and the cities of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach each will receive about $400,000. The rest will go to Stafford, Frederick, Rappahannock, New Kent, Cumberland and Northampton counties.


Serial rapist gets four life terms

An Albemarle County man who committed a series of rapes over nearly a decade in the Charlottesville area was sentenced yesterday to four life terms in prison plus 20 years.

Nathan Antonio Washington, 41, was arrested in August after police spent years trying to match a suspect with DNA evidence in seven rapes.

Before sentencing, Washington said he took responsibility for his actions, apologized and asked for forgiveness.

“I didn’t mean for these things to happen they way they did,” he said. “I had no self-control. I always thought I was good, until I was tempted.”

Washington — a former meat cutter and newspaper deliveryman who is married and a father of four — pleaded guilty in December to charges related to four attacks in Charlottesville and one in Albemarle County.

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman read a statement from one victim.

“I never sleep in the dark, never go outside alone,” Mr. Chapman read.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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